Class M2

GENERAL MOTORS (Canada), GM-567 1,425hp. Imported to Sri Lanka from 1954 onwards. The most successful locomotive in the Sri Lanka. Almost all locomotives are still operational. From 1954, Several Batches of ‘General Motors Manufactured Locomotives’ Imported to Sri Lanka under “The Colombo Plan”. Normally called as “Canadian” engine. But there are two classes of Canadian engine in SLR. Other one is Class M4.

There was a popular story about M2s and Ruhunu Kumari, Yaal Devi and Udarata Menike that those three trains were commenced on same day with M2 #569, #570, #571 respectively. Those three trains were in commenced on one day but also the locomotives hauled on their maiden journeys were not the ones mentioned above.

Ruhunu Kumari train went on her maiden journey on 24th October 1955 and the rest was on 24th April 1956. Locomotives went on the maiden journeys were M2 # 569 ‘Ontario’ for Yaal Devi and M2 # 572  ‘British Columbia’ for Ruhunu Kumari and Udarata Menike both.

Only one non-functional engine is No. 571 “Saskatchewan” which destroyed by LTTE on 14th September 1985.

  • Builder : General Motors Canada
  • Weight : 79 tons
  • Engine:
    • GM V12 G12-567c – 1425hp Two Stroke (M2, M2a, M2b & M2c Sub Classes)
    • GM V12 G12-567e – 1310hp Two Stroke (M2d Sub Class)
  • Main Generator: GM – D32
  • Axel Arrangement: A1A-A1A (M2, M2a, M2b, M2d) and Bo-Bo (M2c)
  • Gauge: 5’6”
  • Maximum Speed : 112 kmph
  • Traction Motors: Four(4) GM – D29
  • Maximum Tractive Effort: 38,000 lbs @ 25%
  • Continuous Tractive Effort: 28,000 lbs @ 12 mph
  • Maximum Axle Load: 19.75 Tonnes
  • sub classes (M2a, M2b, M2c, M2d)
  • In service: Since 1954
  • Total number of imported Locos: 14 (includes M2: 5, M2a: 3, M2b: 2, M2c: 2, M2d: 2)
  • Number of locos in service: 13 (#571 “Saskatchewan” destroyed)
  • Livery : Dark blue, Light blue, Silver and Yellow strip

M2 # 569 “Ontario”; Elder brother of M2 batch
Image courtesy Sri Lanka Railways Museum

Number Series:
Class Axle Arrangement Numbers
M2 A1A-A1A 569, 570, 571, 572, 573
M2a A1A-A1A 591, 592, 593
M2b A1A-A1A 594, 595
M2c Bo-Bo 626, 627
M2d A1A-A1A 628, 629
Class Number Name Imported Year Notes
M2 569 Ontario 1954 Went with maiden journey of “Yaal Devi”
M2 570 Alberta 1954 Trapped in Kankasanthurei (KKS) due to war since 1992 to 1996 after hauling last night mail to KKS. On  2007.06.07 slight damages due to land mine in Punani.
M2 571 Saskatchewan 1954 Destroyed by terrorists on 14th September 1985 near Mollipothana on Trinco line.
M2 572 British Colombia 1954  Went on the maiden journey of “Ruhunu Kumari” on 24th October 1955 and on the maiden journey of “Udarata Menike” on 24th April 1956
M2 573 Quebec 1955
M2a 591 Manitoba 1956 Caught in Tsunami
M2a 592 Nova Scotia 1956
M2a 593 New Brunswick 1956
M2b 594 Prince Edward Island 1958
M2b 595 New Foundland 1958
M2c 626 Montreal 1961 Main Line only. Maiden journey on 1961.08.08
M2c 627 Vancouver 1961 Main Line only. Maiden journey on 1961.08.04
M2d 628 Kankasanthurai 1966 Imported for Cement Corporation. Made in USA
M2d 629 Galle 1966 Imported for Cement Corporation. Made in USA
M2 # 571 Saskatchewan

M2 # 571 “Saskatchewan” Destroyed by LTTE
Image owner unknown

Other miscellaneous: M2a 591 “Manitoba” Caught by Tsunami near “Paraliya” (Coastal Line)” 26th December 2004. Alternator rusted, removed from the engine.

After 591’s alternator destroyed, it was replaced by 593’s alternator and when 569 came to overhaul repairs, 593’s alternator was replaced by 569’s alternator.

M2a # 591 Manitoba

M2a # 591 “Manitoba” Engine that caught in Tsunami
Image courtesy Mr. Thurya Owitipana